“You Have Cast Off the Weight; Beware, Lest the Sand Overwhelm You”

Let’s consider a Bible passage from Matthew 9:9-13…

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. 10 While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. 11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. 13 Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

From what we know about what Jesus taught, there is one thing we can never forget:

  • Major Premise: Jesus came to call the sinners, not the righteous.
  • Minor Premise: Jesus came to call us.
  • Conclusion: Therefore, We are sinners.

If we forget this fact, then we run the risk of becoming like the Pharisees, looking upon others as sinners, but giving no thought to our own sins.

Continued HERE

Be Not Afraid! Have Courage!

Be not afraid

Be Not Afraid! Have Courage! Not so easy? You ask, “Why should I be the one who acts so courageous? Look around! You don’t see anyone else stepping up to the plate!”

Hmm…need I say more? If no one acted courageously, and set the example for others to follow, we would all be swallowed up in fear – and fear comes from the devil. When you lack courage and you are aware of what makes you afraid, it is incumbent upon you to face those fears.

For me, I am afraid to take risks for fear of failure. If I… Read more…

Bloom Where You Grow

There are a couple of flower boxes on our back deck railing. Anyone who has cats knows what that means – anything growing there has to be pretty persistent or it will be crushed under the furry bellies of our lounging feline friends. In fact, for the past couple of summers we haven’t even bothered to plant anything in them.

That’s where a delicate salmon-colored poppy comes into the story. Even though the parent plants are far below – on the ground below this raised deck – somehow a tiny seed made it to the soil in one of the flower boxes. Not only did it make it, it germinated, set down roots, and has been beautifully blooming for a few days now.

What can we learn from this persistent, lovely little plant?

We aren’t always where we thought we’d be in our lives. Maybe we don’t even want to be where we are at all. It’s easy to focus on an idealistic image of if only. In this imaginary, perfect world we would be saints, may be successful (in a worldly way), or admired by all. Every effort would reap the anticipated reward and failure would only come if we didn’t try hard enough – or didn’t have enough faith.

Yet scripture tells us that we will be tested. That our trials – and how we handle them – will shine a light for others to see. We can become the salt for them and the leaven for their spiritual bread.

Matthew 5:13-16
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. 15Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

It isn’t always ours to choose where life leads us but it is our choice when it comes to how we react. When life hands us an unexpected detour from our search for perfection, we should choose to react with grace. As a sweet little lady used to tell me,

Bloom Where You Grow smaller file size

“We need to bloom where we grow”.

Wherever God has planted us that is our place to shine – to shine with His love and compassion and faithful service. Then we will be headed down the road of success – and toward sainthood!

Courage Cannot Be Denied!

Sts Peter and Paul

Courage cannot be denied! Think about that for a moment. Other people can deny you love, joy and peace, but no one can take courage away from you. That is because courage is found only from within. Solely by the grace of God, you have courage when you need it.

When I think of courageous people, I first think of martyrs; from the earliest Christians, like the Apostles, to the persecuted Christians of today. They all have one thing in common, the persecutors robbed them of their physical freedom and took their lives because they were… Read more…

 

Moral Disconnect Regarding Sex

Moral Disconnect

Moral disconnects regarding sex exist between God and man as a result of individualism, autonomy secularism, and concupiscence. Today, we are bombarded from all four fronts; fighting a moral battle within. Let’s start this discussion by first defining the four terms:

Individualism

“…there is a tendency to grant to the individual conscience the prerogative of independently determining the criteria of good and evil and then acting accordingly. Such an outlook is quite congenial to an individualist ethic, wherein each individual is faced with his own truth, different from the truth of others.” 1

Autonomy

“…the right to determine what… Read more…

Sex Inside/Outside of Marriage – God’s Stance

bible

This month we’ll hear from the U.S. Supreme Court. Before we do that, let’s hear what God has to say on the matter of sex inside and outside of the covenant of marriage.

Sex is a gift from God as a means for expressing self-giving love and for procreating children. If we believe this, then it behooves us all to be cognizant of God’s will in how we are to “be fertile and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). If one was to think that the expression of sexual love between any two people should be acceptable, then why does God think differently about fornication, adultery and sodomy? He has maintained the same position on these acts since the creation of Adam and Eve, never changing His position.

Before going further, let us first define the… Read more…

Chastity in the 21st Century???

chastity

Chastity tempers, regulates and moderates our sexual desires, thoughts and actions.1

According to God, Adam and Eve were instructed to “be fertile and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Jesus affirmed this instruction by stating, “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate” (Matt 19:6). Jesus teaches that through the covenantal oath of marriage and through the sexual union that ensues, the husband and wife become one. As a married couple, they are free to engage in sexual relations; to bring forth new life, thusly fulfilling God’s command to be fertile and multiply.

Scripture dictates that sexual relations are… Read more…

Road to Purity – The Road Less Traveled

theroadlesstraveled

The road to purity (holiness) is paved with repentance, leading us away from sin. The virtues are our guideposts on our journey, so that we know we are heading in the right direction. Prayer and receipt of the sacraments are our fuel. The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes are the laws of the road. The Bible is our roadmap that helps us plot our course. Our own bodies are our mode of transportation. If we were smart, we would put Jesus in the driver’s seat!

Where are we headed? Why Heaven of course! From the moment that God breathed life… Read more…

Pure Hearts – Light as a Feather!

Holy_Spirit_Breaking_Chains

Pure Hearts mean light burdens, for it is sin that burdens and chains us down. With pure hearts we are free from sin. We are light as a feather! Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for … my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Here Jesus speaks of the yoke of obedience, telling us that our lives would actually be much happier if we were to align our intellects and wills with His; that life would be… Read more…

Pure Heart – Holy Heart!

pure heart

Pure hearts are holy hearts! When your heart is pure, it is clean and this means that your soul is free from sin. You are united with Christ; conformed to Christ, and act in a Christ-like manner. To be of this stature you must have a pure heart, a holy heart, a heart like Jesus’ heart. Might sound impossible, right, given humankind’s propensity to sin?

Jesus reminds us in the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).

News flash! If we want to experience eternal life in Heaven, in the presence of God,… Read more…